In possibly the most Madonna move since Madonna announced that she would be directing her own biopic, Madonna has now apparently decided not to make her own biopic so she can focus on that big, career-spanning tour she announced earlier this month. According to Variety, the project “is no longer in development at Universal Pictures,” as “insiders” say that Madonna has decided that “her sole focus is the tour.” (Or it’s possible that Madonna just saw Weird and realized that a pretty faithful depiction of her life had already been done onscreen.)
But this isn’t a big deal, right? It’s not like the machinery was in motion and people were already committed to working on this thing, right? Well… no. Madonna announced the biopic herself back in 2020, teasing that she was developing the screenplay with Diablo Cody (!) and that former Sony boss and current Spider-Man series producer Amy Pascal was producing. That version fell apart at some point, with Erin Cressida Wilson of The Girl On The Train later doing another draft, but the biggest move in the project’s development came just last June, when Ozark and Investing Anna’s Julia Garner survived what was apparently a “grueling” casting process to land the plumb role as Madonna herself—A Hollywood Reporter story on the cancellation says that the casting process for prospective Madonnas included 11-hour days of choreography sessions, readings with Madonna, and singing auditions.
Now that was all for nothing, and Garner is going to have to find a different biopic to star in about a legendary musical artist who she bears a surprising resemblance to. Or Universal could just cut out all of the Madonna specifics and do an Aline-style biopic about a legally distinct star whose life just happens to be a lot like Madonna’s life.
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